If we were having coffee, we’d probably be lounging on a blanket in my backyard basking in the sunshine. I’d be favoring something cold–an iced mocha or frappuccino–behind my floral sunglasses. An occasional leaf flutters from the maple tree above us.
In Minnesota, we usually have one last day of summer before the season shifts. I think it’s today and am very thankful it fell on my one day off. I’ve been ready for Fall to arrive for the past month, but can’t deny that today is absolutely perfect. The air is fresh, no humidity whatsoever. The trees are just starting to change colors. I actually spent several hours on the aforementioned blanket alternately reading and napping. It was absolutely glorious.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you all about the concert I went to last week in Minneapolis with a friend. Maddie and I met during our semester abroad in London and she recently moved to my area and has been aching to go to a show ever since. We went to see Ivan & Alyosha and Noah Gundersen. I wasn’t overly familiar with either band, but it was a wonderful show. Musically, both bands were a real treat. Ivan & Alyosha were my favorite act (I’ve been listening to them nonstop ever since). They’re really peppy with a California vibe. Noah was much more serious–his whole band wore black and oozed angst. I like his earlier music, but he mostly played stuff from his most recent album which is really existential. It was hard not to be depressed after the show as I drove the hour home well-past midnight. But I cured the overflow angst by listening to peppy pre-pop Taylor Swift songs.
If we were having coffee, you would know that I’m frustrated. For the most part, things are going very well for me right now. I have a job, a roof over my head, and get to spend lots of time with family. But a big portion of my life, my Christian faith, hasn’t been doing well. I’m not struggling, but I’m not thriving either. One of the problems is that I feel like I have too much history with the churches in my area. Most people my age go to the church I grew up in, which I no longer attend for some very painful reasons (which I discuss in this post). My family usually goes to a mega-church in the cities, which was great for in college for weekend visits and long breaks. But it’s not the kind of church I actually want to go to long-term. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s just not the right fit for me. I’ve looked into trying some other churches, but I either know too many people who go there or have been turned off by hearing about people’s bad experiences.
The thing is, Christian culture tends to be extremely conservative. And I tend to be more liberal. When I’m around other Christians, even those I love and admire, I generally keep my opinions to myself. Usually, this is because it’s not the time or place. But another factor is that most people will strike up an argument. I really dislike arguing–it does more harm than good. In arguments, people tend to spend most of the time defending their own perspective without actually caring about what the other person has to say. I don’t mind if someone thinks differently than I do, but it bothers me when others don’t respect my perspective in return. So I don’t go there.
I’m in a bit of a rut, you see. My relationship with God is one of the most important things I have. I long for Christian community who will accept me without judging me based on the way I think. I long for supporters who will spur me on in faith. I known it exists–I’ve had it before in Morris and at camp. Here, though, I feel very much alone.
If we were having coffee, though, I hope we don’t argue. Because I’d love nothing more than to spend the afternoon sipping cool drinks on that blanket with you. How has your week been? Anything you’d like to share in return?
This post is part of the Weekend Coffee Share link up at Part Time Monster.